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National & International Programs

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are more than 102,102 protected areas covering 12.6% of the world's land area. Protected areas total over 18.8 million square kilometres - that's larger than the combined area of China and India!  

Alberta has strong ties to the global network of protected areas. We have internationally significant sites recognized through designations like

Alberta's parks system is part of the family of parks in Canada.

Different names, designations and rules sometimes make it unclear how parks around the world fit. The International Union for Conservation of Nature system enables comparisons to be made by categorizing protected areas with similar purposes, objectives and uses globally regardless of the legislated classification system.

IUCN Category IUCN Protected Area Managed for: # Protected Areas Total Area Protected (km2)
Global Canada Alberta Federal Alberta Provincial Global Canada Alberta Federal Alberta Provincial
Ia Science or wilderness protection 4,731 570 2 13 1,033,888 15,552 1.6 237
Ib Wilderness protection 1,302 143 1 30 1,015,512 305,528 127 22,099
II Ecosystem protection and recreation 3,881 1,192 5 181 4,413,142 404,548 53,925 3,920
III Conservation of specific natural features 19,833 795 1 14 275,432 30,336 11 49
IV Conservation through management intervention 27,641 1,724 2 14 3,022,515 9,980 460 1,038
V Landscape/seascape conservation or recreation 6,555 171 0 1 1,056,008 2,181 0 97
VI Sustainable use of natural resources 4,123 2,483 3 0 4,377,091 37,856 413 0
Unclassified / Other . 34,036 437 2 225 3,569,820 39,975 17 226
Total . 102,102 7,515 16 478 18,763,408 845,956 54,954 27,666
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Updated: Jul 25, 2016